Electric Truck Fleet
Heavy duty, Class 8 terminal trucks are the workhorses of The Kraft Heinz Company distribution network. They are almost always on, moving food products and supplies from warehouses onto trucks. Traditionally, they were powered by tough diesel engines, but a pilot project in Ohio is leading the way to an electric, renewable energy future.
Erin Mitchell is head of North American Warehouse and Logistics for Kraft Heinz. She saw this project as an opportunity to reinforce the company’s commitment to grow sustainably and to improve operational sustainability. On behalf of Kraft Heinz, she partnered with Orange EV and Firefly TransportationServices to replace the Class 8 diesel terminal trucks in a main distribution center in Groveport, Ohio with pure electric versions. “Orange EV’s battery-electric terminal trucks deliver 100 percent emission-free transportation services – a key driver of our progress toward a more sustainable and resilient supply chain,” she said.
Firefly Transportation Services operates three Orange EV pure electric terminal trucks to do the work formerly accomplished by five diesel trucks. For fuel diversity alone, one diesel remains onsite and is expected to go unused in routine operations. With this deployment, Kraft Heinz plans to virtually eliminate diesel terminal truck emissions at the distribution center, leading to significant productivity gains and cost savings from this replacement, which means that not only is the conversion good for the environment, it’s also good for our business.
“Firefly Transportation Services is committed to delivering zero-emission yard management services to our customers while also dramatically increasing site productivity and cost savings”, said Mike Bohnstengel, one of the Firefly principal partners. “Utilizing data from our EV telematics systems, we provide advanced analytics and implement operational improvements that would not be achieved via traditional diesel units.”
The electric truck solution was partially funded by the American Lung Association through a grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Program, secured and administered by the Clean Air Team at the American Lung Association (ALA)’s Springfield, Illinois office.
Kraft Heinz will continue to investigate the possibilities of expanding this pilot to other locations in its distribution network, as well as continue to explore increased use of electric vehicles in its value chain.